Maximalism in Contemporary American Literature

Author: Nick Levey

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317205022

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 176

View: 774


This book begins a new and foundational discussion of maximalism by investigating how the treatment of detail in contemporary literature impels readers to navigate, tolerate, and enrich the cultural landscape of postindustrial America. It studies the maximalist novels of David Foster Wallace, Nicholson Baker, Thomas Pynchon, and others, considering how overly-detailed writing serves the institutional, emotional, and intellectual needs of contemporary readers and writers. The book argues that maximalist novels not only exceed perceived limits of style, subject matter, and scope, but strive to remake the usefulness of books in contemporary culture, refreshing the act of reading. Levey shows that while these novels are preoccupied with detail and description, they are relatively unconcerned with the traditional goals of representation. Instead, they use detail to communicate particular values and fantasies of intelligence, enthusiasm, and ability attached to the management of complex and excessive information. Whether reinvigorating the banal and trivial in mainstream culture, or soothing anxieties of human insufficiency in the age of automation and the internet, these texts model significant abilities, rather than just objects of significance, and encourage readers to develop habits of reading that complement the demands of an increasingly detailed culture. Drawing upon a diverse range of theoretical schools and cultural texts, including Thing Theory, Marxism, New Formalism, playlists, blogs, and archival manuscripts, the book proposes a new understanding of maximalist writing and a new way of approaching the usefulness of literary objects in contemporary culture.

Inherent Vice

Author: Thomas Pynchon

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0143117564

Category: Fiction

Page: 384

View: 3467


Part noir, part psychedelic romp, all Thomas Pynchon—Private eye Doc Sportello surfaces, occasionally, out of a marijuana haze to watch the end of an era In this lively yarn, Thomas Pynchon, working in an unaccustomed genre that is at once exciting and accessible, provides a classic illustration of the principle that if you can remember the sixties, you weren't there. It's been a while since Doc Sportello has seen his ex- girlfriend. Suddenly she shows up with a story about a plot to kidnap a billionaire land developer whom she just happens to be in love with. It's the tail end of the psychedelic sixties in L.A., and Doc knows that "love" is another of those words going around at the moment, like "trip" or "groovy," except that this one usually leads to trouble. Undeniably one of the most influential writers at work today, Pynchon has penned another unforgettable book.

The Year's Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Seventh Annual Collection

Author: Gardner Dozois

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

ISBN: 1429905697

Category: Fiction

Page: 688

View: 5252


The thirty-two stories in this collection imaginatively take us far across the universe, into the very core of our beings, to the realm of the gods, and the moment just after now. Included here are the works of masters of the form and of bright new talents, including: John Barnes, Elizabeth Bear, Damien Broderick, Karl Bunker, Paul Cornell, Albert E. Cowdrey, Ian Creasey, Steven Gould, Dominic Green, Nicola Griffith, Alexander Irvine, John Kessel, Ted Kosmatka, Nancy Kress, Jay Lake, Rand B. Lee, Paul McAuley, Ian McDonald, Maureen F. McHugh, Sarah Monette, Michael Poore, Robert Reed, Adam Roberts, Chris Roberson, Mary Rosenblum, Geoff Ryman, Vandana Singh, Bruce Sterling, Lavie Tidhar, James Van Pelt, Jo Walton, Peter Watts, Robert Charles Wilson, and John C. Wright. Supplementing the stories are the editor's insightful summation of the year's events and a lengthy list of honorable mentions, making this book both a valuable resource and the single best place in the universe to find stories that stir the imagination, and the heart.

The Digital Literary Sphere

Author: Simone Murray

Publisher: JHU Press

ISBN: 1421426102

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 256

View: 5217


Drawing on approaches from literary studies, media and cultural studies, book history, cultural policy, and the digital humanities, this book asks: What is the significance of authors communicating directly to readers via social media? How does digital media reframe the “live” author-reader encounter? And does the growing army of reader-reviewers signal an overdue democratizing of literary culture or the atomizing of cultural authority? In exploring these questions, The Digital Literary Sphere takes stock of epochal changes in the book industry while probing books’ and digital media’s complex contemporary coexistence.

Against the Day

Author: Thomas Pynchon

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 0099512335

Category: Chicago (Ill.)

Page: 1220

View: 2520


Thomas Pynchon is up to his usual business. Characters stop what they're doing to sing what are for the most part stupid songs. Strange sexual practices take place. Obscure languages are spoken, not always idiomatically. Contrary-to-fact occurrences occur. Maybe it's not the world, but with a minor adjustment or two it's what the world might be.

Gravity's Rainbow (Classics Deluxe Edition)

Author: Thomas Pynchon

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0143039946

Category: Fiction

Page: 784

View: 2345


A Penguin Classic Winner of the 1973 National Book Award, Gravity's Rainbow is a postmodern epic, a work as exhaustively significant to the second half of the twentieth century as Joyce's Ulysses was to the first. Its sprawling, encyclopedic narrative and penetrating analysis of the impact of technology on society make it an intellectual tour de force. This Penguin Classics deluxe edition features a specially designed cover by Frank Miller along with french claps and deckle-edged paper. For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.